President-elect Trump’s inaugural committee is inviting special interests to stay in the swamp

This morning, Issue One Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy Meredith McGehee issued the following statement: 

Late yesterday, reporters revealed what has become a common tale in Donald Trump’s Washington: Special interests will remain firmly entrenched in the swamp.

The president-elect’s inaugural committee has been soliciting packages aimed directly at corporate donors and well-funded interests. The ask is for six- and seven-figure contributions in exchange for “exclusive” meals and glad-handing opportunities with Cabinet appointees and upcoming leadership in the 115th Congress. Let’s be clear: This is the very definition of selling access.

Even worse, in the Rust Belt states of Indiana and Ohio as well as in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Donald Trump claimed victory, the median household income doesn’t climb over $55,000 a year. The working- and middle-class voters who elected Trump couldn’t in their wildest dreams afford a $1 million ticket to rooms that will instead be crammed with the same deep-pocketed Washington elite he rails against.

President-elect Trump should direct his inaugural committee to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, whose first inaugural committee “banned donations from corporations, political action committees and registered lobbyists.”

By selling access at $1 million a pop, the president-elect is inviting the same interests that have exemplified cronyism, gridlocked Congress and greased the skids of bad policymaking in Washington for decades to expand their influence. It’s a slap in the face to voters who have unequivocally indicated, in our poll and others, that reducing the influence of money in politics is a top priority.